Notary Public Virginia e-notary rules
The information in this blog entry is based on information derived from the Virginia Secretary of the Commonwealth’s Notary Division website on the page indicated above.
Here are a few quick notes about Virginia e-notary rules
(1) Signers must personally appear before a Virginia e-notary to get an e-notarization.
(2) A separate registration or commission is necessary to be a Virginia e-notary, and the same exact name variation must be used on both commissions.
(3) There is no additional education required to become an e-notary in Virginia beyond the education required to become a conventional notary. However, you are advised to be an expert on the Virginia notary handbook and to educate yourself and be trained in the electronic process of notarization.
(4) There is a quick application form to become an e-notary in Virginia, and the form is on the Secretary of State’s website — use the link above.
(5) A Virginia electronic notary commission expires when your regular notary commission expires.
(6) The state of Virginia can produce electonic evidence that an e-notarization is authentic with a certificate of authority. Please see the official wording of this certificate near the bottom of this entry. There is a fee for this certificate as with any other authentication.
(6) The Virginia Notary Division (c/o Secretary of the Commonwealth) gives some of the most comprehensive information about being an e-notary of any of the states. Once the e-seal is affixed to the electronic document, the document is rendered tamper evident as unauthorized attempts to alter a document will be evident and obvious to involved parties. This statement is very interesting. Many of us fear the e-notarization process as we fear it might be less secure as we don’t understand it or feel accustomed to it. But, in reality, paper documents are easy to tamper with, while secure e-documents might not be so easy to tamper with.
The Virginia e-notarization process: step by step
(1) The signer signs their electronic signature on an electronic document, and then signs the notary’s e-journal.
(2) The notary affixes their electonic seal and signature to the electronic document after it has been signed.
Note: An e-signature might start with you logging in with a password, and then clicking a submit or accept button. (Digital signature pads are also sometimes used – but weren’t mentioned in the information on the page we linked to above)
The future requirement of personal appearance
Personal appearance is currently required for e-notarizations, but the state says, “At present, yes” to this requirements and says, “not yet” for taking acknowledgments via audio/video conferencing which implies that one day personal appearance might not be required.
Certificate of Authority for an Electronic Notarial Act
I, __________________ (name and title), certify that _________________(name of electronic notary), the person named as Electronic Notary Public in the attached or associated electronic document, was commissioned as an Electronic Notary for the Commonwealth of Virginia and authorized to act as such at the time of the document’s electronic notarization.
To verify this Certificate of Authority for an Electronic Notarial Act, I have included herewith my electronic signature this ______ day of ___________, 2011
(Electronic signature and seal of commissioning official)